27 January 2015

A CREATIVE DC: JULIE BJARNHOFF

A Creative DC is a weekly series showcasing all aspects of a creative lifestyle in the District. The city's full and part-time doers and makers, how + where they live, gather, and create, and what they do, make, and notice. Follow along here and at @aCreativeDC on Instagram, and hashtag your own DC lifestyle with #aCreativeDC. Your life looks good here.
I'm not shocking anyone by pointing out that this is an intensely transient city, and in the context of a creative DC, so often that conversation focuses on who's leaving, and why and how they're taking their DC-nurtured talent elsewhere. What I don't think we're talking about enough, though, is who's arriving, how their creativity and ideas can add and contribute, and how, eventually, this city will start to inform their work. It's an exciting aspect to focus on (and a positive one, at that), so when I found new-to-DC (by way of Copenhagen) Julie Bjarnhoff's clean, beautiful design work in the #aCreativeDC Instagram feed, I got in touch immediately. She's been here just since November, and I was glad to spend some time with her at her apartment in the U Street Corridor, discussing her work, her home, and her creative DC.

"I’m a visual artist and graphic designer...I do a lot of different visual work. I guess I’m creating small visual worlds...I love the endless possibilities of starting with one element and then transforming it into something else."

Where did you grow up, and what brought you here?
I grew up in a wonderful and very creative family in a small village in Denmark. In the last 3 years before I moved I lived in the heart of Copenhagen - the city is magical. My husband Troels was offered a job [here], and I chose to follow along and start an adventure in DC. It is very different from Copenhagen...the people, the architecture, the food, the way life is lived – I discover many interesting things on my way around, it's hard to describe just exactly what...it's probably more a feeling that arises. I just love to walk around the streets and look at the beautiful, exciting and fascinating people - that inspires me a lot.

More with Julie, after the jump.
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26 January 2015

HOW DO YOU DO: A BANANA + CHOCOLATE "MILKSHAKE"

I've been making every attempt to eat locally and seasonally, but ya know, sometimes you're dying for a milkshake situation, and the best you can come up with is a  s m o o t h i e , maybe organic. Or not even. Whatever.

I've been partying on Into The Gloss's c A r I b e recipe since this Summer; it's one of those awesome non-recipe recipes that you can basically throw whatever into and it works. My current version is pretty basic: a frozen banana, a date or two, cacao, almond milk and peanut butter (I'm usually an almond butter kid, but almond milk + almond butter feels like an almond overload, no?) and whatever's left, room temp, from the morning's french press. In the past I've thrown in spinach, used figs, and gone all  c h i a  on it, too.

But back to "whatever" – I've had a cuckoo sweet tooth lately and made the decision to NOT feel bad about buying a bag of dark chocolate chips to integrate into this otherwise fairly healthy smoothie; what I *do* feel bad about is my having eaten the rest of the bag over the course of the following two nights but C'EST LA FUCKING VIE.

Banana + Coffee Cacao Smoothie

1 large Banana, sliced and frozen
6 oz Almond Milk
1 tsp Raw Cacao
1-2 oz Coffee, chilled or at room temp
1 spoonful PB (or Almond Butter)
1 large Date, pitted and chopped
Raspberries, Coconut, and Chocolate Chips to top.

1. Blend the banana in a food processor until it turns into "ice cream" (if you haven't done this before, it will blow your grade-school-science-fair M I N D).
2. Add remaining ingredients and blend, then top with the other stuff.

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23 January 2015

ONE, TWO, THREE

one. YAY - the first A Creative DC edition of the Panda Head Newsletter mailed out this week! If you're a subscriber then you caught the news early about the March date for my Photo Styling + Image Creation Workshop – January's sold out fast and with a wait list; if you weren't able to get tickets for this weekend, I'd love to see you in the Spring!

two. IMPORTANT 411 at Death & Taxes. Throw in this (no wait, THIS) and a few of these and we've got a pretty good Friday nite ahead of us.

three. I posted this to FB last week, but wowza – totally worth sharing twice: A River Runs Through It: A biography of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios, at The Believer/via Longform.

I'm spending this weekend at Wild Hand for workshops galore – hope your next few days are PERFECTO, and hey! Real quick – gonna use this space to wish a Happy Birthday week to my little sis – she's my very favorite Aquarius. Also this.

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22 January 2015

HOW DO YOU DO: FRAME TRASH AS TREASURE

I've long been a fan of the HAVE A NICE DAY SMILEY GUY; a hardcore love of emoji has since taken it to strange and intense kind of place. He's just so damn f r i e n d l y + I appreciate his vibes.

I rearranged a bit over the holidays and found myself with some new wall real estate, and it seemed as good a time as ever to do something with my stash of smiley bags. Using an IKEA frame, a tear of butcher paper, and a few pieces of double-sided tape, I was so stoked on the outcome that I made it twice.

Whether your own definition of trash as W A L L  T R E A S U R E includes happy plastic bags or found flyers, notes, and paper ET AL, I've learned the hard way, re: framing projects, to make sure my work surface is p r i s t i n e. Both glass and plexi sing a siren's song to dog hair, lint, and weird dust specks, and it's wildly frustrating to reach the end, flip it frontwards, and then have to go back and undo. Stay armed with paper towels and a Windex-y type of spray, and STAY VIGILANT (#unnecessarilydramatic).

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21 January 2015

A CREATIVE DC: DRINKS WITH SEAN MACPHERSON

A Creative DC is a weekly series showcasing all aspects of a creative lifestyle in the District. The city's full and part-time doers and makers, how + where they live, gather, and create, and what they do, make, and notice. Follow along here and at @aCreativeDC on Instagram, and hashtag your own DC lifestyle with #aCreativeDC. Your life looks good here.

My name is Sean MacPherson. I'm 34 years young and I grew up in Laurel, Maryland. I currently live in Columbia Heights, right down the street from my favorite bar in the whole world: Room 11. I'm extremely lucky because not only is my "home away from home" within walking distance, but I also have the privilege of bartending there, and I've been doing so for almost 4 years now.

R E A L  Q U I C K  N O . 1
What are you watching on Netflix? I don't know how it took me so long to discover Archer but it's the funniest shit ever. I guess we're re-watching Parks and Recreation for the one hundredth time, and lately I've been falling asleep to that Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey show.

I started bartending about 7 or 8 years ago, but until I started at Room 11 I was just free-pouring whatever into a glass, hitting on the hostesses and getting trashed behind the bar. I credit Jess Woods, who is my current general manager and one of my best friends, for really making me realize the importance of service, and that if I wanted to be successful as a bartender then I needed to immerse myself in it.

I began studying everyday (and drinking a lot at night), messing around with different spirits, trying to take in everything and understand why certain ingredients work together, and how cocktails come about. I've also been able to learn a lot from other talented bartenders there: Dan Searing, Eddie Kim, Iris Ho and Gavin Pierce, not to mention the many bartenders who visit and sit on the other side of my bar.

Creating cocktails doesn't always come naturally for me and I'm always trying to find balance, or a "peak" for a flat drink and what-not. Actually, the really hard part is coming up with a clever name for the drink afterwards. In my case, this is usually inspired by mid-90s hip-hop music, supermodels, and Japanese horror movies. Our cocktail menu changes weekly at Room 11, so it's a fun challenge that's always keeping me on my toes.

R E A L  Q U I C K  N O . 2
Favorite name you've given a cocktail? It's hard to pick...It's a pretty personal and extremely ridiculous process for me but I try to have as much fun with it as possible. Bartending is the closest thing to an artistic outlet that I have in my life right now so it's really cool to when someone orders a drink that you've created by the name you've given it – even [ed: especially?!!] if that [someone] is somebody's grandmother and that drink is a Paloma variation named after a retired pornographic film actress.

More with Sean (plus two of his Winter cocktail recipes!), after the jump.
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